Spark Creativity this Valentine’s Day

Written by: Pina Capuano

Edited by: Sarah Dean

February is a month where we seek shelter from the dragging winter days and wait for a groundhog to tell us if spring will strike early. It also marks another golden opportunity for companies to show off their branding strategies and strut their stuff on the Valentine’s Day runway. But while the romantics of us swoon over the thought of flowers, poems, and chocolates, Valentine traditions are being broken as companies come up with creative ways to steal our hearts. 

Tea: Valentine’s Day Blends

Tea: Valentine’s Day Blends

Tea, for one, has come onto the scene hotter than ever. With specialty tea shops cropping up everywhere and following the suit of specialty coffee shops like Starbucks and Second Cup, Davids Tea is one company putting their spin on Valentine’s Day. Complete festive Valentine and love-inspired blends, pink tea accessories, and greeting cards, Davids Tea is giving romantics the opportunity to do something a little different, and a little unique this Valentine’s Day.

Arthur George by Robert Kardashian

Arthur George by Robert Kardashian

If you’re not into tea, another way to warm up your Valentine’s heart is by starting feet first. Arthur George by Robert Kardashian has a line of Valentine’s Day socks complete with playful sayings and colourful hearts. Sure, footwear doesn’t exactly scream romance, but these fun socks are a great way to add some personality into your February 14th festivities.

 The best part about these unique gifts though, is that they still leave plenty of room for classic boxes of chocolates and flower bouquets. If you’re really looking to go outside of the heart-shaped box though, why not get creative?

 Glass blowing studios usually offer a variety of classes at different skill levels and give students the opportunity to make anything from vases, to paper weights, and jewelry. It’s a craft that is unique and you’d be surprised at just how many cities have glass blowing studios and artists. Both group lessons and private classes are available and whether it’s a package through a website like Goupon, or one directly through your local glass blowing studio, this one of a kind surprise is sure to melt your Valentine’s heart.

Flo Glassblowing - Pink Vase & Ornament

Flo Glassblowing – Pink Vase & Ornament

 So there you have it, three ways to make this Valentine’s Day your own and surprise that special someone with something as unique as your love.


Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays from uOPRA!

Written by: Shannon Murphy
With contributions by; Pina Capuano, Emily Guterres, Jocelyn Courneya, and Patricia Michelena

12 Days of PR

The uOPRA blog team hopes that you have enjoyed the 12 days of PR this year. We have enjoyed every minute and every word typed in producing articles about old memories, current traditions, and classic PR tips and tricks. The 2014-2015 team has and continues to refine what uOPRA embodies; and in fashion with our holiday-themed series, four of our uOPRA members have shared some insight into what uOPRA has done for them.


uOPRA has helped me learn how truly passionate I am about the world of PR. Working alongside others who are just as driven as I am is a blessing and I wouldn’t be where I am today without everything uOPRA

Cat. has taught me.

Pina Capuano, ACPR
VP Social


The University of Ottawa Public Relations Association has allowed me to build strong and meaningful professional relationships. It has also given me the chance to channel my ambition and drive with other likeminded individuals who are passionate about public relations. I have had the opportunity to use my creative ideas and build them into realities. I am confident that the skills and connections I have made through uOPRA, will be extremely advantageous for my career in public relations.

Emily Guterres, Public Relations
uOPRA Writer

 The second year of uOPRA, and even though we are only at the halfway point, it has proven to be a very successful year so far. Two fantastic networking events, some great articles by our bloggers for 12 days and an amazing team of students. I have no doubt that the new year will be even better, and can’t wait to see what this team has to bring.

Jocelyn Courneya, Communications and Globalization
uOPRA Writer

I have been in uOPRA for a year and a half now and I have to say I have learned more than I could have imagined. My favourite thing about this organization is definitely the people that you work with, and the activities that we do within the organization! We help each other grow and learn through experience, all together, which is great for our future careers since we will be probably working together in similar projects. It feels great to look back and see how much you have achieved since you first started and I can’t wait to see how much we develop as people and as an organization itself in 2015!

Patricia Michelena, Public Relations
VP Secretary

uopra team

uOPRA is an organization that promotes the success of young professionals by offering support and opportunities to expand their knowledge and portfolio in the public relations field. On a personal level, uOPRA has given me the opportunity to work with the most amazing and talented people in the city. My team this year is an extension of the success uOPRA experienced last year and they continue to inspire me every day with their creativity and determination. I am extremely thankful for everything each member brings to the table, and am so proud of the positive changes that they’ve made for the organization and for their peers. I cannot believe how lucky I am to collaborate with uOPRA writers and event planners, and I cannot wait for everyone to see our work come to life this year at our second annual conference in March!

We hope you have a very Merry Christmas and a long relaxing break before the 12th!

12 Days of PR: How many Santa’s does it take to sell a bottle of coke? – Coca Cola and their role in the marketing of St. Nick

Written by Jocelyn Courneya

Edited by Pina Capuano


“Santa”, “Santa Claus”, “S. Claus”, “Jolly old St. Nick”. Chances are, that as the Christmas season draws closer, the more often you hear one of these names alongside images of a jolly fat man with a long white beard, dressed head to toe in red. While many associate this magical man in red with the Christmas holiday season, what many do not know is the history behind the modern image of Santa Claus and his role in the 20th century marketing of Coca Cola. Continue reading

12 days of PR: Let’s Tweet-Up!

Written by Pina Capuano
Edited by: Shannon Murphy

The first time I heard the word ‘tweet-up’ I thought it was a new music group. But when my friend explained to me what it was and that she has been invited to attend one with the Ottawa Red Blacks football team, I was intrigued.


It’s inevitable, the face of technology changes quicker each day and the question of how ‘social’ the Internet is, is constantly tested. From this concern, the tweet-up was born. A tweet-up is a portmanteau combining “twitter” and “meet-up” and occurs when twitter users tweet each other to make plans to rendezvous in the physical world. Continue reading

12 days of PR: Purple, Red and Blue, the New Colours of Christmas?

Written by: Jocelyn Lubczuk

Edited by: Pina Capuano

The crisp smell of snow is in the air, holiday music is everywhere you turn, shoppers are running too and frow with packages and… lattés in their hands? Flavored lattés are making a return this holiday season!

With the return of the cold comes the public need to stay warm and comfortable both inside and out. Popular coffee shops, such as Starbucks, Tim Hortons, and Second Cup aim to not only warm people up, but to sell customers a holiday experience.

Branding themselves with a Christmas story is a popular way in which companies attract customers. Their tactics? Simple. Continue reading

12 Days of PR: Christmas films, uOPRA’s top picks.

Written by: Shanice Atkins-Broome

Edited by: Shannon Murphy and Pina Capuano

Do you still feel the spark when Christmas season nears? Are you one to pop in your favourite Christmas films as soon as the holiday season begins?

It’s that time of year again when children and adults alike rush into the living room in hopes of catching their favorite classics on TV (does this 1960s claymation special ring any bells?)

Our list below looks at three of the best Christmas movies that help us get into the holiday spirit. This winter-inspired list also gives some insight into the public relations strategies and tactics each film used when it first came onto the scene to capture the hearts of movie-goers and become holiday classics. Continue reading

Fall in Love with PR: Being Quick on your Feet

Written by: Kristie Van Vloodorp Taylor
Edited by: Pina Capuano & Shannon Murphy 


In my first few weeks of studying public relations at Algonquin College I have realized just how connected the lessons I learned at the University of Ottawa are to what I am learning now in college.

I began learning about the importance of having confidence in all settings and understanding different communication theories. While I do not miss studying into the late hours of the night, I certainly benefitted from the foundation I built through my university experience.

Continue reading